PICTON – With less than two weeks left to go in the 10th year of Countylicious , some of the restaurants in Prince Edward County are filling up with reservations.
“It’s been a pretty crazy year,” says Rebecca Lamb, the destination development and marketing co-ordinator for Prince Edward County. “We’re hearing from the restaurants now that a lot of them are filled up with reservations already.”
Reservations were coming in as early as August for the month-long event, which started at the end of October, she said.
Countylicious is organized and funded by the 11 restaurants that are participating this year. The municipality helps promote and market it.
One of the main features of Countylicious is that the participating restaurants have a fixed-price menu, Lamb said.
“This is a valuable chance for people to get what they would have at a restaurant for a lower rate.”
The lower price is not the only selling point. Three new restaurants are participating this year: The Courage  and Pomodoro  in Wellington, and Jackson’s Falls Public School House  in Milford
“Obviously people can have their old favourites, standard Countylicious participants, but I think offering new restaurants and experiences to folks just diversifies the program and makes it even better,” said Lamb.
Portabella  in Picton is one of the longest-participating restaurants. Owner Roy Pennell agrees with Lamb that Countylicious is about introducing diners to new experiences.
“I think it’s interesting for people in the County to go out and try different places that they usually wouldn’t go to,” he said.
Tyler Adam-Smith, one of the owners of The Courage , said Toronto, where he previously worked, has a similar event. He finds that people in the County have a more open mind to different dishes, he said.
“In the city there’s almost a prescribed … menu that you almost have to have. And it’s been cool seeing that that doesn’t really stand here in the County.”
Countylicious is a chance for The Courage to get the word out that the restaurant,which just opened at the end of the summer, is now open for dinner, he said.
So far, Adam-Smith said, he has been having a good Countylicious experience.
“Everyone has been consistently excited about it. We’ve got tons of great feedback. And ultimately it’s kind of showing people what we can do,” he said.